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Julian Loewe: "The tools are not ready yet"

Julian Loewe: "The tools are not ready yet"
Photo: © Dominik Friess

How can AI be used in marketing and promotion? Lukas Kolb and Julian Loewe will be talking about this topic at this year's Most Wanted: Music and explaining what it has to do with DIY. We asked them about it in advance. 

INTERVIEW  Boris Messing


CCB Magazine:Hello Lukas and Julian. Before we go into detail, please introduce yourselves. Who are you?

Lukas Kolb:I'm Lukas Kolb, currently still a Master's student at the Popakademie in Mannheim. As part of my master's thesis, I have been working extensively on the topic of AI in music marketing for indie labels. I conducted interviews with indie labels, including Julian, for example. In the second step, I then discussed the problems and potentials in dealing with AI mentioned in the interviews with AI specialists. The aim was to develop a kind of best practice. One of the central questions was how AI can be used sensibly as a marketing tool in the indie label context.

Julian Loewe:I am Julian Loewe, founder and managing director of NEUBAU Music. On the one hand, we consist of artists and producer management, and on the other, we have a music publishing company and a label, NEUBAU Music Recordings GmbH. We have only been around for five years. Our trademark is to recognize early on which technological developments in the music scene have not been anticipated in order to use them to our advantage. With this in mind, we are working very intensively on the topic of AI.

Lukas Kolb. Photo: Luca Kohout

CCB Magazine: At this year's Most Wanted: Music, you are invited to speak on the topic of "DIY - Working with AI for marketing and promotion". The term Do It Yourself, or DIY for short, first appeared in 1912. It was aimed at painting the walls yourself in order to empower yourself. We therefore tend to associate DIY with handicraft work. What does this have to do with AI?

Lukas Kolb:That's a good question. Of course, AI tools also have a technical aspect. On the one hand in terms of their operation, and on the other in terms of the content you can create with them. Take the AI tool Opus Clip: This AI can automatically cut you seven to ten short-form videos from up to 90-minute videos of interviews or podcasts, for example, which you can then use to promote the interview or podcast. With subtitles and teasers. This frees up working time that can be used for strategies and creative work.

Julian Loewe:There are an incredible number of AI tools on the market that have not yet been discovered by everyone. We know the potential of AI, we know what's behind it technically, but most people aren't interested in the technical details, but in the superficial usability. I think that's also a bit of the DIY aspect, that you have direct access to these tools. And they are often free of charge.

CCB Magazine:When and how did you start to deal with the topic of AI? And in which area? 

Julian Loewe:For my part, about a year ago, mainly to increase productivity. It wasn't so much about optimizing our processes in the creative area, but rather about organization, i.e. using AI for research purposes or to organize information. That's how it started for us. I then very quickly realized that a lot can be achieved with very little effort - without having to have a great deal of technical expertise.

Lukas Kolb:I have been working on this for just over a year. Out of personal interest and in the context of my Master's thesis. I therefore looked at the topic through a scientific lens. Above all, I wanted to know how AI tools can be used in marketing strategies. 

Julian Loewe: There are now symbiotic connections between platforms such as Spotify and TikTok. The idea is to attract people to Spotify through marketing on TikTok. And streaming music has become the basic business model for musicians and labels

CCB Magazine:So how can AI tools be used for marketing and promotion?

Julian Loewe:I can tell you something directly from the application area. Let's take the Opus Clip tool again. It solves a major problem in our industry, namely content creation. Artists are forced to constantly use social media platforms like TikTok to generate attention. This takes time and energy away from the real work: the music. With Opus Clip, video snippets can be created from existing videos. The AI analyzes the video material and makes suggestions as to what can be used best and for what reason. This can also be a text, a melody or an image. And even if you don't use the suggestions, the AI's recommendation can be very useful.

CCB Magazine:In which medium is the most time invested in the marketing of music?

Julian Loewe:In fact, that's what TikTok is. Music marketing has probably never been easier than on TikTok. The possibility of achieving reach differs significantly in the algorithm of platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. TikTok is all about virality, about something special. There are already symbiotic connections between platforms such as Spotify and TikTok. The idea is to attract people to Spotify through marketing on TikTok. And streaming music has become the basic business model for musicians and labels, one of the most important sources of income.  

CCB Magazine:The use of AI saves time. But does it also contribute to new, creative solutions that would not have been found, for example, if AI tools had not been available?

Lukas Kolb:Definitely. Even a general AI like ChatGPT can be used very well to generate ideas. It does not replace creativity, but complements and supports it.

Julian Loewe:What Lukas just said is very important. AI should support creative processes, but I don't think it will replace musicians. AI serves as a source of inspiration and simplifies work processes.

Lukas Kolb: In larger creative companies, internal guidelines often prevent the use of AI - due to data protection. From this perspective, it is mainly the smaller companies that can use AI tools, which can be to their advantage later on

CCB Magazine:Will the use of AI lead to a decline in jobs in the marketing sector or will new ones be created? If so, which ones will disappear and which ones will be added? 

Julian Loewe:As I said, I don't believe that the development will lead to fewer jobs in the creative sector or specifically in the music sector. The music industry is a people's business, it's all about personal contacts, and AI can't replace that. But jobs that revolve around creating things like press releases or covers could become obsolete. On the other hand, new people are needed who can operate the AI tools. 

CCB Magazine:Julian, you are also a commercial lawyer. Who will be held liable if an AI (co-)controls a company's marketing in the future? And how will ethical guidelines be observed?

Julian Loewe:This is a very exciting topic at the moment, and there are still no definitive answers. On the one hand, there is copyright law, which has not yet been adapted to the new technological conditions. This concerns the question: Who is an author in which case? Can AI hold a copyright? Who is responsible for what? As far as liability is concerned, I would generally say that the person who places an order, let's say to produce an album or create a work of art, is ultimately responsible for the result. It becomes really problematic when it comes to deep fakes, especially if the content creators remain anonymous. How this can be controlled is currently unclear. I find it ethically questionable that marketing advertising is often personalized, i.e. people are addressed directly by name, for example. This is questionable in terms of data protection and leaves room for manipulation. We need a controlling body to protect people.

Lukas Kolb:I would like to add here that the EU already has proposals for regulating AI in the form of the AI Act, but these are being implemented far too slowly. Technological development is progressing so quickly that regulation cannot keep up. The bureaucratic wheels are turning far too slowly.

CCB Magazine:In your opinion, how widespread are AI tools in the marketing sector today? How long will it (still) be before they are used as standard?

Julian Loewe:These tools are not yet established because everything is still in its infancy. The tools are not ready yet. Nevertheless, I think it will only be a few years before they are widely used.

Lukas Kolb:At the moment, much is still up in the air. Internal guidelines often prevent the use of AI, especially in larger creative companies - due to data protection. From this point of view, it is primarily the smaller companies that can make use of this, which could be to their advantage later on. That would also be my recommendation to smaller companies: Start experimenting with AI now!

Category: New Player


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